Buddhaland Brooklyn:

A Novel

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Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

From the writer whose debut novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, continues to charm readers around the world comes a modern fairy tale about a man who finds his true calling in a foreign land.

Featuring rich descriptions and a cast of eccentric characters, this is a contemporary fable about a Japanese Buddhist priest who ends up finding himself in the unlikeliest of places.

Growing up in a quaint mountainside village in Japan, Seido Oda spent his boyhood fishing in clear mountainside streams and helping his parents run their small inn. At the age of eleven, Oda is sent to study with the monks at a nearby Buddhist temple. This peaceful, quiet refuge in the remote mountains of Japan becomes home for the introverted monk—until he approaches his fortieth birthday and is ordered by his superior to cross the ocean and open a temple in Brooklyn.

Ripped from the isolated, serene life of his homeland temple, Oda receives a shock to his system in New York—a motley crew of American Buddhists whose misguided practices lead to a host of hilarious cultural misunderstandings. It is only when Oda comes to appreciate the Americans, flaws and all, that he sees his own shortcomings and finally finds that sense of belonging he has always sought.

A lively and vivid novel, this entertaining and edifying meditation on the meaning of true acceptance stirs from the very first page.

Editorial Reviews

“Morais’ latest follows Seido, a Japanese Buddhist priest whose attachment to ritual fortifies him against the heartbreak of his youth…By leaving the austere orderliness of Japan and entering the noisy hodgepodge of Brooklyn, Seido finds, for the first time, a community…A breezy read that ably moves to a predictable feel-good resolution.”

Publishers Weekly

“This account of a Buddhist priest’s journey through life sheds light on cultural differences and finding acceptance.” 

Booklist

“In exquisite prose, Buddhaland Brooklyn illuminates the hearts of wholly different cultures—an isolated Buddhist monastery; bustling New York—and also the universal truths of human life. Reverend Seido Oda’s journey from shut-down, haughty priest to compassionate religious leader is a profoundly moving one making for a complex, beautiful book that lingers in the imagination long after the last line is read.”

Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

“A gentle Buddhist priest from Japan is given the task of building a temple in the Little Calabria section of Brooklyn, and the results are both calamitous and sweet…Morais writes with sensitivity and insight about the many ways American life challenges the Reverend Oda’s equanimity.” 

Kirkus Reviews

Author Biography

Richard C. Morais, author of The Hundred-Foot Journey, is a contributing editor at Barron’s in New York. An American raised in Switzerland, he was stationed in London for seventeen years, where he was Forbes’ European bureau chief.

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Reader Biography

Feodor Chin was classically trained at the American Conservatory Theater and UCLA. His acting career includes numerous credits in film, television, theater, and voice-over. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his narration of The Snakehead by Patrick Radden Keefe. For more information please visit FeodorChin.com.

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